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What to Include in a Pharmacist Resume
How you organize your resume is up to you, and specifics that you include will be uniquely yours. There is no one way that is best. As you read through pharmacist resume samples, however, you will see that certain topic headings are used by almost all pharmacists who are looking for work. Here are four basic resume sections that you will want to use:
- Resume Summary
- Work Experience
Other sections often are added to enhance the resume so that it presents important information in the best manner possible. If you look at a variety of pharmacist resume samples, you will learn how others make use of these optional sections.
The information that you put in your resume depends on where you are in your career. For instance, if you recently graduated from pharmacy school and passed your pharmacist licensure exam as well as all required tests on pharmacy law, you will want to emphasize your education and certifications.
If, instead, you are an experienced pharmacist seeking a new position, you might choose to list work experience before education. You perhaps also might choose to group the work you have done under task categories instead of by dates of employment. Accomplishments could have their own separate section heading, or they might be included in the work experience section.
If you list information in order of dates, you are using the chronological format. Categorizing by duties or areas of expertise rather than by dates is known as the functional format. These two formats are the two main choices in resume formatting; however, many resumes combine the two. You can get a feel for how these formats work by researching pharmacist resume samples.
How to Write the Pharmacist Resume Summary Statement
The first section in your resume will be your summary statement. Looking at pharmacist resume samples that correlate well with your level of training and experience will give you an idea of how to craft this area.
Your summary statement is similar to what is known as an “elevator speech.” Such speeches are quick sales presentations, capable of being spoken in 30 seconds or less. In that amount of time, readers of your summary statement must be able to grasp what it is that you have to offer and be impressed by what they read. Focus on specific abilities and accomplishments you have that fit the requirements and needs mentioned in the job announcement.
To give you a clearer picture of what to do, here are two examples.
Energetic, caring pharmacist with twelve years’ experience in all areas of retail pharmacy work. Enjoy managing a pharmacy to ensure excellent service to customers and am well-versed in accurate records management and effective billing practices. Investigated and resolved insurance claim issues, monitored and maintained inventory, prepared pharmaceutical compounds, filled specialty prescriptions, trained and supervised personnel. Know the value of good communications and teamwork.
Certified clinical pharmacist trained in geriatric care. Coordinate with physicians and other health care workers to optimize patient care by ensuring that prescribed medications are appropriate and effective for each individual. Monitor dosages, side effects, possible interactions with other drugs. Fastidious about preventing medication-related problems whenever possible. Work quickly to identify and resolve such problems if they occur.
How to Write the Pharmacist Education Section
There are strict education requirements attached to pharmacist jobs, and accordingly, it’s important to utilize this section to clearly and concisely state what degrees and certifications you possess.
Arrange your education experiences in reverse order, putting the most important and impressive qualification first. For instance, if you have a Master of Sciences of Pharmacy, you’ll want to include that before your licensure or standard Doctor of Pharmacy degree.
Provide the name, city and state of each institution as well as any degree that you earned. If applicable, include major and minor fields of study as well as specialized coursework that relates to the position for which you are applying. Completely spell out the names for fields of study that you list instead of using abbreviations. Graduation dates are relevant if they are recent.
Because you must complete several years of higher-level coursework before you can work as a pharmacist, there is no need to list your high school education. Be sure, however, to include ongoing coursework or professional development courses as well as related training through workshops and seminars.
Under your most recent educational experiences, highlight accomplishments that help you stand out as an excellent prospect for the job you want. Include research and thesis work only if it is directly related.
You can include professional certificates and licenses in the education section or list them under a separate heading.
How to Write the Pharmacist Work Experience Section
Let pharmacist resume samples guide you in the various ways to put together the work experience section of your resume. You can organize this section using either the chronological or the functional format, or you can combine both formats.
If you have quite a bit of work experience, you likely will want to put this section above the section on education. If there are no major gaps in the dates of employment, the chronological format probably will work best. To use this format, list your most recent work first. For each position, include the name and location of the company or organization, your job title and the dates that you worked there. You can enter dates by month and year or simply by year. Once you choose how you want to enter dates, keep the entries consistent.
Underneath the basic employment information for each position, use action verbs to describe what you did. Emphasize your level of responsibility as well as the skills and abilities that you demonstrated. If your work made a noticeable difference to customers, the department or the organization, tell how. Quantify whenever possible. Use verbs in present tense when describing things that you currently do, and use past tense for information regarding former employment.
If you decide to use the functional format, you will place information about your duties and achievements in groups according to types of work or skills required. Then the work experience section will be a more simple list of the relevant jobs you’ve held.
If you are a recent graduate without much work experience in the field of pharmacology, keep the education section above the work experience section. Under work experience, list internships, summer jobs, and volunteer activities that are directly related to the type of work you are applying for.
No matter how you organize your work experience, it is of utmost importance that you make the information you present correlate well to the responsibilities and duties that are listed in the job announcement. The information shown on pharmacist resume samples will help you gain awareness of wording that catches a hiring manager’s attention. You want the hiring agent to see by reading your resume that you fit the position described in the announcement.
Action Verbs to Include in Your Pharmacist Work Experience Section
To help prospective employers realize that you are an active worker rather than someone who sits back and lets others carry most of the load, use action verbs to describe your work as well as any outstanding accomplishments. These action verbs will help you get started, and you can find many more by reviewing resume samples.
How to Write the Pharmacist Skills Section
So that you bring out the skills that are most important to the company or organization where you want to work, thoroughly examine the job announcement before you start writing. No matter how many skills you have, put the ones the hiring manager is looking for first. As you list each skill, use wording that is similar to how things are worded in the announcement.
List both hard skills, those that are directly related to your duties as a pharmacist, and soft skills. Soft skills are the ones that make you a good employee no matter where you work or what you do. For example, analytical skills and managerial skills are soft skills. A variety of skills that other pharmacists possess and employers want are listed in pharmacist resume samples. If you read several samples, you likely will find wording that you can use to accurately describe some of your skills. Pharmacy resume samples also provide excellent ideas for formatting this section.
Should I Include References in my Pharmacist Resume
Because listing references in your resume takes up valuable space, it is customary to omit them. However, you need to be prepared to furnish reference information to hiring managers who ask. Create a separate list and keep it handy.
Carefully select your potential references. Call those who are likely to give you a good recommendation. Let them know your plans, ask their permission and check with them to be sure that the contact information you have is current. Recommendations by immediate supervisors or department managers make a good impression on hiring managers. If you are a recent pharmacy school graduate, the professor who taught courses in your field of highest interest also might be a good reference to include.
Pharmacist Resume Fails: Mistakes to Avoid
- Do not use the e-mail address furnished by your employer as your address when you are looking for work. If that is the only one you have or if you have an e-mail address that others might think is risque or offbeat, set up a new one that will not cause negative ripples.
- Do not format your resume with extremely narrow margins or with margins so wide that the reader’s attention is drawn to the white space instead of to the print. One-inch margins are about right.
- Do not use a font point size so small that the reader has to squint. Usually, sizes lower than 10-point are too small. If you cannot fit your resume on one page without making the print small, either eliminate some of the information or use two pages. Check pharmacist resume samples to see how two-page resumes are set up.
- Do not use fancy fonts or graphics. Choose a standard, universal font such as Calibri, Georgia, Times New Roman, Arial or Verdana. These fonts scan easily without misinterpretation or distortion and can be read by a variety of programs.
- Do not overload your resume with information that is not needed, and proofread carefully. Remember that the purpose of your resume is to make an impression that gets the prospective employer interested in hiring you.
Job Prospects in the Pharmacist Industry
Demand for pharmacists is expected to remain strong for the next several years. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that there will be approximately 14 percent more workers employed as pharmacists in 2022 than there were in 2012. Nationwide surveys conducted in 2012 revealed a total of 286,400 pharmacists. The total number in 2022 is forecast to reach 327,800. An aging population, easier access to health care and the continued production of new medicines are contributing factors in this prediction.
In 2012, the industry that paid the best median annual wage for pharmacists, $128,910, was general merchandise stores. Industries close behind were department stores, drug stores and grocery stores. Hospitals of all types paid approximately $14,800 less. The hospital industry’s median annual wage for pharmacists was $114,100.
Half of the nation’s pharmacists earned more than the median for their industry, and half earned less. Those at the bottom 10 percent received less than $89,280 in annual pay while those at the top 10 percent grossed more than $145,910. Pharmacy school graduates who obtain additional experience by completing a residency program or who go on to become certified specialists increase their prospects of securing steady employment at high pay.